Yesterday, leading Cornwall-based online marketing specialists Niddocks hosted the Niddocks GYM seminar (short for Google, YouTube & Mobile) to get Cornish businesses fighting fit for the year ahead.
Managing director Rob Edlin presented the latest trends that we can expect in online search this year, and he was joined by Danny Burlacu from YouTube, who spoke about the growing adoption of YouTube, both as a search engine and a marketing and advertising platform.
The seminar covered a lot of information (my brain certainly felt like it had a workout), including structured data, smart goals for AdWords and advanced remarketing. To me, the three trends that stood out the most, and which I think will impact the translation industry, are:
1) Safety first: the move from HTTP to HTTPS domains
When information is sent from a webpage on a http domain – for example when you fill in a contact form and submit it – that information is sent unencrypted. It could potentially be seen by someone that it’s not intended for, i.e. the information could be scraped for improper use like spam or phishing.
HTTPS, on the other hand, is a secure domain which only sends information in an encrypted way so that it cannot be deciphered by anyone other than the intended recipient. You might have seen HTTPS in your browser address bar on pages where you have to enter confidential information like credit card details.
Google want to make the whole internet safer and are pushing for more and more websites to move to https domains. In a recent statement, Google announced that they are now starting to index more https pages and that they will index https pages first before indexing equivalent http pages.
“We’re excited about taking another step forward in making the web more secure. By showing users HTTPS pages in our search results, we’re hoping to decrease the risk for users to browse a website over an insecure connection and making themselves vulnerable to content injection attacks.“ – Google
Many websites of freelance translators and translation companies – including our own – are still hosted on http. With the recent Google announcement in mind and to avoid getting penalised in Google rankings in the future, now is a good time to start planning for a move to https. Gather information about the costs and processes involved in changing your website from an http to an https domain. According to Edlin, it’s important to work closely with your web developer to make sure the switch goes without any hick-ups and that all searches for your current http site are properly redirected to your https site.
2) Beacons: connecting the physical world with the online world
A beacon is a small piece of hardware that can send messages or prompts directly to a smartphone or tablet using Bluetooth technology. They are low-cost pieces of kit that are easy to install and offer completely new ways of interacting with people in the physical world. According to Business Insider, “beacons are poised to transform how retailers, event organisers, transit systems, enterprises, and educational institutions communicate with people”.
For example, shops can use beacons to not only measure the footfall in their shops, but also get a much better picture of who these visitors are (demographics) and how they interact with their products (conversion data). And that’s just one of many use cases. In the USA alone, beacon technology drove $4bn of retail sales in 2015, a figure that’s expected to increase drastically this year.
While so far, beacons relied on an app being installed on a user’s smartphone, 2016 will see major web browsers supporting beacon technology, which will open up a whole new world of possibilities. According to Edlin, a spark is needed to ignite a new location-based marketing method that will allow end users to use online search in a more meaningful way that truly connects the physical with the online world, and beacons are likely to be exactly that spark.
For anyone interested in using beacons in their business, Niddocks will soon be launching Olleno, a brand new specialist resource for the physical web, Eddystone beacons, nearby and proximity marketing – watch this space!
3) Video content: growing at incredible speed
Here is a neat statistic: According to Cisco, by 2017, video will account for 69% of ALL online traffic. The consumption of online video is growing year on year. People are watching videos at home, at work, while they are commuting, while they are eating, and even on the toilet! In the UK alone, 16 million users watch online videos every day. With an annual growth rate of 10%, video is not just a way of providing engaging content marketing for potential and existing customers, video platforms also offer a huge advertising potential to increase sales and drive brand awareness.
As more and more companies start to integrate video into their marketing strategies, the need for translation services specialising in localising video will continue to grow. Expanding your offering to include subtitling and voice over services could be a worthwhile move to create a competitive edge, as could be the partnering with a reliable video production company.